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Utility rights training tomorrow, Coalition reminder, WIC materials + more

SNAP Emergency Allotments 
 
We have been getting a lot of questions about how long the SNAP "emergency allotments" (extra emergency SNAP)  will continue with the news that the Governor plans to lift the state's public health emergency declaration. We expect that DTA will give all stakeholders an update very soon. Please know that USDA is actively working with states on the Emergency Allotments when there are changes to a state public health emergency declaration. We will keep you posted as soon as we know more, do not panic! In the meantime, please:
  • actively screen SNAP households to maximize available SNAP deductions and boost SNAP - especially medical expenses for SNAP recipients age 60+ or receiving a disability based benefit like SSI or Social Security. For more on all the SNAP deductions, go here.
  • reassure households that SNAP does not expire, as long as the EBT card is used at least once in 365 days. They can always hang onto their SNAP benefits and spend them as they see fit.
Fuel Assistance deadline and 5/20 NCLC Training Webinar: Utility Advocacy for Low-Income Households in Massachusetts
 
First, deadline for households to apply for the fuel assistance program (LIHEAP) is Friday May 28More info about where to apply, here.
 
Second, tomorrow, May 20 from 10-11:30 AM NCLC is offering a free Stay Connected Training Webinar on Massachusetts utility consumer rights and the Massachusetts utility shut-off moratorium. The training is meant to help low-income Massachusetts residents avoid termination of their utility service and is geared towards advocates and front-line social service workers who work with low-income clients. Attendees will learn the eligibility requirements for electric utility discounts, tactics for managing utility debt, how to prevent service from being shut off, and how to restore service if it has been terminated. As the end of the moratorium on shut offs comes closer and utility debt continues to rise to alarming levels across the state, it is imperative that we have the tools to protect our clients and neighbors from the loss of these vital resources. Please feel free to reach out with any questions at stayconnected@nclc.org.  Click here to REGISTER NOW
 
WIC and SNAP - messaging materials from DPH
 
Please see the attached new handout from WIC - Making the Most of Your WIC & SNAP Benefits! The handout highlights shopping tips, WIC vs. SNAP foods, and the WICShopper app. Soon, it will also be available on the website: Mass.gov/wic and the WICShopper app. 
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